No Questions Asked: Government Embezzler Hired by High-Speed Rail Agency

Friday, August 30, 2013
Carey Renee (Aceves) Moore (photo: California Highway Patrol)

A woman imprisoned in 2007 for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state while working as a procurement analyst for the Department of Child Support Services, was later hired by the California High-Speed Rail Authority, which was unaware of her past.

The Sacramento Bee, which reported extensively on the arrest and conviction of Carey Renee Aceves back in the day, said the rail agency was unaware of her past because her formal arrest came after she had resigned from state service and was therefore not in employment records.

Aceves, who has since changed her name to Carey Renee Moore, told Administrative Law Judge Katie Zwinski there was another reason the rail agency didn’t know about her past—no one ever asked.

Moore first came to the attention of authorities when she was suspected of using her position to embezzle $320,000 worth of merchandise, including a hot tub, a gazebo, electronics, porn videos, handcuffs, whips and chains. She sold some of the stuff to buy a Lexus. Moore used a state credit card, meant for purchases of office supplies, and falsified invoices to cover her tracks.

After investigators started poking around, she transferred to the state Board of Equalization but was arrested on February 1, 2007. When officers from the California Highway Patrol appeared on her doorstep one day, she fessed up and gave them a tour of the 2,900-square-foot home that was stocked with illicit goods. In addition to the aforementioned booty, she had an electric cat blanket, rattan cat carriers, self-cleaning cat litter boxes, and satin and tulle formal gowns in pink, aqua and white. 

Two weeks later, she resigned her position for “personal reasons” before the board had a chance to finish terminating her. Because her departure was of her own volition, according to the Bee, state law prevented any mention of her legal situation in her personnel file.

Moore pleaded no contest to felony grand theft and went to prison for two years. Shortly after she was released, the state removed a question from employment forms about whether a person had ever been convicted of a felony, thus opening the door for her return, the Bee said.        

Her new employer, the Rail Authority, eventually found out about her past and fired her. The state then contested her trying to collect unemployment compensation by arguing she had lied about her past on the employment form.

Moore, who had no need to lie, appealed and won.

–Ken Broder  


To Learn More:

Rule Change Helped Thief Return to State of California Payroll (by Jon Ortiz, Sacramento Bee)

State Theft Spree Alleged: Worker Embezzled $320,000 with Credit Card, Officials Say (Sacramento Bee via SIP Trunking Industry News)

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